Twenty days start to finish is what it took for the team at a major manufacturer and supplier of Autonomous/Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (AUV/UUV), working in concert with L-3 Klein engineering by telephone, to order, receive, install and integrate L-3 Klein’s UUV-3500 Side Scan into their AUV for Offshore Surveying.
To date, the L-3 Klein UUV-3500 Side Scan Sonar has been successfully integrated to the following Autonomous Underwater Vehicles; Ocean Server -Iver2, Bluefin BF-9 and BF-12, Gavia Offshore Surveyor, Hydroid Remus -600, ECA Robotics Alistar-100, VCT HarborScan as well as a number of others.
The L-3 Klein UUV-3500 product line leverages a powerful - wholly FPGA implemented - multi-channel processing engine. The sonar engine simultaneously optimizes two different and concurrent output data streams for photo quality side scan imagery and high accuracy, co-registered swath bathymetry. The UUV-3500 operates exclusively with L-3 Klein’s proprietary wideband technology providing unmatched side scan range and resolution performance in a low power, compact, and lightweight payload. The swath bathymetry option allows for wide swath performance which is typically 10-12 times the overall altitude of the UUV and thereby significantly greater coverage than can be achieved by a multi-beam echo-sounder. The system electronics will easily integrate into all small UUV platforms currently on the market and is also available in a water tight pressure case configuration. L-3 Klein’s newly designed, ruggedized transducers are built to last and perform in the most demanding environmental conditions. Post survey analysis of the data can be accomplished using Klein’s SonarPro® software. Alternately, Klein offers a Software Development Kit (SDK) which allows UUV manufacturers and third party software developers the ability to control the sonar directly as well as display data using Klein’s proprietary image display engine.
An AUV is a self contained, low logistics survey tool capable of delivering high quality data while operating from vessels of opportunity or even from the shore. An AUV can be a powerful asset to any commercial survey operation and has been proven in real world environments providing highly cost effective data when compared to traditional means using costly surface vessels and ROVs. Typical commercial applications include; bathymetric surveys, environmental surveys, exploration and various construction support and inspection tasks for pipelines and platforms utilizing side scan camera and swath bathymetry or specialized payloads.